Tuesday, April 17, 2012
As I started to prepare for Easter - deciding on recipes; prepping casseroles; boiling eggs to dye later; convincing the kids try on new clothes and making adjustments; finding belts and shoes; trying to make the best presentation of some rather lame gifts in the Easter baskets - I felt a bit weary. As I smoothed the creases in one of several bright plaids I was ironing that evening, I let my mind wander back to the years when I was a child...
I remember the thick scent of the dozens of lilies and tulips and mixed bouquets that filled the sanctuary. I remember shouts of Alleluia, of finally singing the choir anthems we'd kept under wraps all those long weeks. Of the descants I was asked to sing. I remember how chocolate and jelly beans from my basket never tasted sweeter than Easter mornings, devouring them before breakfast....
I remember how dressed up my grandmother got for church, always decked to the nines, an elegant pastel hat atop her perfect French twist. I remember how my mother and I shopped for a new Easter dress, every year - and oh how I remember those dresses. Yellow gingham. Pastel plaid. A Laura Ashley floral jumpsuit - so chic. A pale pink flowered dress with a scoop neck and Peter Pan collar. One year, a classy navy-and-white Houndstooth skirt with a smart white shirt, a red tie, and a navy blazer. Around the same time my father started buying me corsages to wear on Easter day, I often chose pink ballet slippers to wear in lieu of actual shoes - a tradition that continued into high school. I remember my father delivering his best line - "You make that dress, that flower, look beautiful."
Suddenly, I felt less weary. I realized, with so much gratitude, all the work and preparation my own mother had put into making our holidays - and our regular days - so memorable. I was renewed with purpose, suddenly finding pleasure in the list of tasks to accomplish. And I also realized that though the preparations may make me weary, I would have it no other way, for the anticipation and the preparation are, in part, what make the day itself so unforgettable and so special. Some moments include....
Continuing my most favorite Easter tradition with my own beautiful sons:
My handsome and beloved boys - Aidan felt especially grown up in this first-ever REAL tie.
Taking one million family photos for THE ONE.
(Now before you go and have a heart attack/go and call CPS, know that this is cellophane, not plastic... and that he was supervised at all times... and so it's totally worth the photo shoot)
Any guesses what they might be watching?? That would be Grandpa's "work"....commonly called GOLF by the rest of us commonfolk.
The jelly Bean Thief. Stuffing his cheeks full like a squirrel preparing for winter, knowing they're about to be moved out of reach - again.
I cannot take any credit for this gorgeous dish: my mother's shrimp and grits tasted even better than this sumptuous photo!
Chocolate fondue and Blenheim Rose to end a most beautiful day...
...with the family who makes it so.Alleluia!